Monday, June 8, 2009

Progress Report

It's been a long time since I shared a progress report with you of Li'l Empress's comings and goings. She's melded in so beautifully to the Gang and is doing so well that I often take for granted that this is all still relatively new to her. And to us. In fact, this week she turns 22 months old. And next week marks the 9th month since the orphanage director placed her sweaty, crying little body in my arms. In many ways, it feels like that day was yesterday. Still, in many more ways it feels like it was a century ago. This child has so completely captured the hearts of all who are blessed to know her and is so completely OURS that it's hard to fathom any other path our lives could have taken.

The first update is one that is long overdue. Back in March, Li'l Empress had a very big day of testing done. I shared the results of the tests that were immediately available but promised to follow up with the outcome of the CT scan. The ENT called on the morning of Easter weekend when we were loading the van to head to New England and although I took good notes, I was in such a tizzy packing and making all the gang members hit the potty that I completely forgot to make a note to blog about it. My apologies. AND, my sincerest thanks to the many of you who remembered that the results were pending and have asked about them. You are too sweet to remember the "stuff" of our lives!

Anyway, the results of the CT scan were about what we expected them to be, given the education that the ENT had given us after his physical exams of Li'l Empress's outer ear and bone structures. Unfortunately, this also means that she is not likely to be a strong candidate for a bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) in the near future, if at all. Out of the current 10 markers needed to qualify a patient for a BAHA, Li'l Empress only scored a "bare 9," because the bone behind her microtic ear is not developed or dense enough to sustain the anchor. We knew she was a 9 going into the CT because of the lack of completed formation of that right ear but had hoped that she'd stay a 9 in order to eventually be considered. Of course, the BAHA would open up a whole new level of hearing for her; but the ENT and the audiologist and the pediatrician all agree that her hearing ear is more than sufficient to function and that her speech and language development so far is bearing that out to be true.

Of course, it was hard to hear from the dr. that she will not (barring some "unusual" or "unexpected" growth and development of that bone) get to experience the benefits of the BAHA. I don't like the idea of knowing that there's tools out there that could potentially expand my girl's world or that she won't really be able to take advantage of them. A momma's heart, I guess. I want the world for my girl, for all my kids, and so it took a little bit of processing and praying to be content with what we have and what we are currently doing. A little bit of discontent still exists, and I've just decided that that remnant is what will keep me praying for a holy and anointed touch on my girl's ears and bones. I believe The Great Physician can do it. But I am content to keep it at His feet and keep my energies focused on the steps needed to take to further develop her speech and language skills without the BAHA in the meantime. It's hard to put into words exactly what I mean. But those of you with kids who struggle with similar issues are certain to get what I mean, or at least to capture the heart of what I'm trying to say.

Next up, I'll treat you all to a more up close and personal update of Li'l Empress's speech and language progress. She's having a "language explosion" and gamely attempting everything we ask of her and mimicking all of us. It's been a blast and has created quite a few really sweet and fun family moments for The Gang. If I'm lucky, Shaggy and Dr. D will capture a couple great examples on video, now that the homework load has subsided. It'll be a great study break from prepping for finals!


TCKK said...

So good to hear she is progressing so well! She is absolutely adorable!

Aus said...

Wow - you sure pack stuff into a post! First - and something that always surprises me - isn't it cool to look back at life and then suddenly you realize that you really don't remember the time when your new child was not a part of the family? Such joy when that happens! Next - and last - and I could go on here for a while (an adult friend of mine has a BAHA after an injury while in the Navy) - don't loose hope yet! Our oldest is a biomedical engineer working on his PhD, and the things he describes to us - which are in 10 years or so a reality - just would blow you away! Someday this may really work for you girl! Besides - Randy describes the BAHA as "pretty overwhelming with input" sometimes - and he's an adult (at least age wise!)

Hugs - prayers for continued sucesses - can't wait to hear more!

aus and co.

Anonymous said...

Praying for the "unusual and unexpected"! Isn't that how God works!?


heidi @ ggip said...

It does sound like she is doing well overall. I always say that it is good when test results are clear so that you know what you are working with. Not that unexpected growth would not be what I would hope for, but it sounds like you guys are doing great for her!!